There’s something about delicious pie crust, combined with warm apples, then mixed with a sweet dulce de leche sauce that I’ve wanted to create for a long time. With my husband Jason out of town for the weekend, I had some free time to turn the kitchen upside down and experiment with making a dulce de leche apple pie from scratch!
So what is dulce de leche? It’s a Mexican caramel, also called “cajeta” that is typically made from goat’s milk. However, it is also commercially available from cow’s milk too. I decided to make my “milk candy” version with sweetened condensed milk, here is a simple dulce de leche recipe you can make at home. The end product is a sweet, sticky, creamy and caramelized candied milk.
Here are the steps for the Dulce de Leche Apple Pie:
I chose to make a ginger almond and pecan crumble to top my pie for extra flavor and texture. Below are some of my favorite cookies to eat and use in baking.
The crumble is a combination of oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, butter, sliced almonds, pecans, ginger and almond cookies.
I used a classic pie dough recipe called Pâte Brisée, which is extremely versatile for sweet and savory pies.
One of the most important steps is to cut the butter into 1/2″ pieces, then chill of freeze the cubes. This prevents the butter from melting when you begin to incorporate the butter into the flour.
Once the dough is allowed to rest for at least 30 minutes, roll out the crust to the desired shape or form into the pie pan. Allow the dough to rest for 40 minutes in the refrigerator to relax the gluten, then freeze for 20 minutes to solidify the butter.
I used a combination of granny smith and gala apples for the filling. The granny smith gave excellent structure and tartness, while the gala was tender and sweet. I cut the apples into 1/4″ slices to ensure that the apples would be cooked through yet still hold it’s shape.
The apples were mixed with the dulce de leche, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, vanilla and apple cider.
Add 1 cup of the ginger almond and pecan crumble to cover the apples.
To create a lattice crust roll out a 13 by 10-inch rectangle, cut the dough into 8, 13-inch-long, 1 1⁄4-inch-wide strips. Separate them slightly and freeze them on the baking sheet until very firm, about 30 minutes. Freezing the lattice strips makes it much easier to weave the strips together without tears or breaks. It also helps the lattice maintain its shape during baking.
Lay 4 parallel strips evenly over the filling. Weave a fifth strip in the opposite direction, lifting the pieces as needed to facilitate weaving. Continue to weave in the remaining 3 strips, one at a time, to create a lattice.
Trim the overhanging edges of the dough to 1⁄2 inch. Press the edges of the bottom crust and lattice strips together and fold underneath. Crimp the dough evenly around the edges of the pie using your fingers.
The dulce de leche apple pie before baking; use a beaten egg for the egg wash and brush the surface of the crust to create a beautiful golden brown color after baking.
The dulce de leche apple pie fresh from the oven, I added candied pecans in the small openings of the lattice crust for extra sweetness and crunch! Here is a simple recipe for candied nuts.
A beautiful slice of the pie; golden brown lattice crust, candied pecans, ginger almond, and pecan crumble, with dulce de leche apple filling.
The apples are tender and not too sweet, and the dulce de leche sauce is nestled in between the layers of apples. Lay the apples closely together when assembling the pie, so you get a nice dense apple filling and don’t lose too much height after baking.
I’ve added multiple components to this pie. Candied pecans, homemade dulce de leche, crumble, and lattice top. However, the great thing is you can omit or keep as many elements as you like! For example, just top the pie with the crumble or just the lattice. The best part is experimenting, and your pies will only get better with more practice. Don’t worry. I’m sure none of your friends or family will complain, just as long as you share!